OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The search effort for survivors after a military helicopter crashed in the Mediterranean on Wednesday is now a recovery mission, the Defence department says.
The Armed Forces says more remains have been found, but they’re not able to identify them yet.
On Thursday, the government confirmed the body of Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, who was a Marine Systems Engineering Officer, was recovered. At the time, the government said five members were still missing.
They include Captain Kevin Hagen, a pilot originally from Nanaimo, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, a pilot originally from Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, an Air Combat Systems Officer originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, a Naval Weapons Officer originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, an Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator originally from Guelph, Ontario.
Sad news on the military helicopter crash in the Ionian Sea. The Defence department says the rescue mission is now a recovery mission. Additional remains found but not identified #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/izjD7pUag1
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) May 1, 2020
“The Canadian Armed Forces will be doing everything possible over the next several days to confirm known details with the families,” a release reads.
The CAF also confirms NATO allies will continue to help recovery efforts as the HMCS Fredericton — with which the helicopter was deployed — heads to Italy, where it’s expected to arrive on May 2.
The Cyclone helicopter the six Armed Forces members were on went down in the Mediterranean sea during a NATO exercise on Wednesday.
There’s still no word on what caused the helicopter to go down, but Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed on Thursday the data recorders have been recovered. At this time, Sajjan added, there’s no indication the crash was caused by contact or a shoot down.
Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance said the aircraft had been performing basic exercises and was returning to the ship when at 6:52 p.m. local time, contact was lost. A few minutes later, he explained, flares were spotted in the water.